Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, partnered with Albertsons and Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families, to honor a Southern California military family in advance of the big race in Fontana on Sunday.
Before the race, Richard Petty Motorsports driver and Eckrich partner, Aric Almirola, surprised the unsuspecting Desma family with $5,000 worth of free groceries at Albertsons, courtesy of Eckrich.
Eckrich, Operation Homefront and Richard Petty Motorsports have partnered to honor military families since 2012. Almirola, who is a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner, was born on a military base and, as a father of two, is inspired by our military families.
"It's amazing to hear their stories and how much they have sacrificed," said Almirola. "It's an honor to give back to them. I grew up in a military family and understand the sacrifices that have to be made. And, now, as a father of two children myself, I'm even more inspired by our military families. They are our real heroes."
"It's a blessing what Eckrich did for us to today," said Frank and Maryann Desma. "It's so special to have the opportunity to not only meet Aric Almirola and see the race, but for the awesome gift of $5,000 in groceries to Albertsons. We want to thank everyone."
The surprise is part of the ongoing campaign by Eckrich to honor, thank and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront. The Desma family is supported by Operation Homefront's Hearts of Valor® program, a network of people caring for wounded, ill or injured service members.
Frank Desma served 18 years in the Army as a Sergeant and served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Eckrich, entering the fifth year of partnership with Operation Homefront, has surpassed $2 million in donations since 2012.
"Once again, Aric Almirola and Richard Petty Motorsports have partnered with Eckrich give thanks to our military families," said Chuck Gitkin, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Smithfield Foods. "We also thank Albertsons for joining us as we continue in our mission to thank and support military families across the country. We thank the Desma family and are proud to present them with $5,000 in free groceries."